Sprinklers spread safety

A live demonstration of the effectiveness of sprinklers in combating fire was a spectacular success.

Two identically built rooms were constructed at the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Training and Development Academy in Croxteth. The rooms, representing typically furnished lounges in an average size house, were simultaneously set alight. The materials used to create the structures for the demonstration were donated.

The event, staged to mark Fire Sprinkler Week 2014 , saw the developing fire in one unit controlled and suppressed by the activation of a single sprinkler head. The other room was completely destroyed within minutes.

A video has now been released by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service showing the demonstration and how the sprinkler limited fire damage. The video can be found at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnUOXgfm05E&list=UUyUaaYt1x20zkJCrt97XeYQ

Merseyside building owners,  Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), partner agencies, local councils and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority members watched the demonstration.

With a focus on making its communities safer and increasing the number of properties containing a sprinkler system across the county, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MF&RS) is working with Registered Providers who, it is hoped, will retro-fit sprinkler systems to a number of buildings where people are living. A particular focus will be on those groups in society who are at greater risk of experiencing fire. Over the coming months MF&RS will work in partnership with the community to identify the most vulnerable properties where the Service will, through both funding and management, support the retro fitting of a sprinkler system(s).

The sprinkler project in Merseyside was agreed by the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority and its aim is to have at least one building in each of the five districts in Merseyside retro-fitted with a sprinkler system.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Deputy Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said: “The demonstration has clearly shown the impact that sprinklers can have. We have seen many fires in Merseyside where, if fitted, sprinklers have prevented the fire from spreading, limiting damage to owners and business, ultimately saving lives, which clearly demonstrates their benefit.

“Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MF&RS) is raising awareness around sprinklers and promoting the benefits of sprinklers as part of a commitment to reduce the impact of fire on people, property, businesses and the environment in Merseyside.”

Across Merseyside, between January 1, 2010, and January 24, 2014, new figures reveal firefighters in Merseyside attended nine fires where a sprinkler had extinguished the flames and 15 fires where the sprinkler had contained or controlled the fire. In Liverpool three fires were extinguished by sprinklers and six fires were contained by sprinklers during the period.

Fire Sprinkler Week 2014 was the first of a new national annual campaign designed to highlight a simple message: controlling a fire as it starts is better than repairing the damage after it has spread.

The Chair of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Dave Hanratty, said: “Sprinklers have advanced technology and are designed to a very high standard and they are affordable. The demonstration proved to those who attended the event at the Training and Development Academy the impact they can have in protecting property, residents and enhancing the safety of firefighters fighting fires in premises. Those who attended were all very impressed.

“Sprinklers are a topic I am passionate about as I truly believe they can make a great deal of difference protecting people, properties and businesses across Merseyside and further afield.”

Fire Sprinkler Week was established by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) and is supported by the Business Sprinkler Alliance (BSA), British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA), Local Government Association (LGA) and the National Fire Sprinkler Network (NFSN).

More information on the sprinkler project and work by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service can be found at www.merseyfire.gov.uk

Two new reports were released for Fire Sprinkler Week 2014:

:: A new report showing the cost benefit of installing sprinklers in warehouses can be found here – http://www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org/an-environmental-impact-and-cost-benefit-analysis-for-fire-sprinklers-in-warehouse-buildings-bre-global/
:: Here is another new report – an evidence based assessment of the direct and indirect economic impacts in England and Wales of fires in warehouse buildings without automatic fire sprinkler systems (AFSS)

http://http://www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org/the-financial-and-economic-impact-of-warehouse-fires-cebr/

 SPRINKLER MYTHS

MYTH: In a fire all the sprinkler heads go off together.

FACT: Only the sprinkler head(s) directly affected by the fire is triggered.

MYTH: Water from the sprinkler causes more damage than the fire.

FACT: Sprinklers attack the fire quickly and directly so less water is needed. As they also operate the fire alarm, the flow can be quickly turned off when the fire is out.

MYTH: A smoke detector will always provide enough protection.

FACT: Operational smoke detectors do save lives, however they do nothing to extinguish a growing fire.

MYTH: Sprinklers go off accidentally.

FACT: The odds of winning the lottery are greater than the 16 million to one chance of a properly maintained sprinkler malfunction.

 

PICTURED: This picture  shows the unit which had a sprinkler in to suppress the fire on the left  and the unit without a sprinkler on the right .(Photo: Tony Thomas)